Gluten Free Baking

Have you dreamed of getting away to a beautiful and relaxing B&B where every detail is thought of -- including gluten free meals? If you thought a place didn't exist, I'm here to tell you it does...and best of all, it's located in one of the most picturesque and wonderful places in the U.S.: Napa Valley's wine country. Having lived in San Francisco myself many years ago -- and spent numerous weekends venturing up to Napa and Sonoma with my husband -- I can tell you that it's a place like no other. I was so thrilled to learn a year ago that Karen Lynch, gluten free herself for nearly a decade, had restored a historic home and several cottages on a beautiful piece of property in the heart of downtown Napa...and turned it into a B&B called the Inn on Randolph. Although the food served has always been 100% gluten free, Karen didn't initially market the inn that way. But she soon realized her mission must be to make others like her aware that they could find a safe "home away from home" in Napa where they could relax and enjoy wonderful, safe meals as they explore the area.... Read more →


If you're like many people in the gluten free community, you may be trying to avoid other grains besides just wheat. Or maybe you're trying to adapt recipes to make them more nutrient-dense by using alternative flours like almond flour. And I'm sure most of us would like to reduce the refined sugars in our diet. These are all great dietary goals, but where do you start? How do you make some of your favorite gluten free meals and baked goods without the gluten free flours you've come to rely on in recipes? Consulting a cookbook like Comfort Cooking Without Grains and Refined Sugars is a great place to start. Written by Eleanor Fahey of the Cooking Without Grains website, it contains over 200 recipes (both sweet and savory). I love how the recipes use ingredients like honey instead of sugar. And I especially like Eleanor's use of almond flour, which I've always found lends a wonderful flavor and moistness to recipes (in addition to adding protein, fiber, and healthy fats -- you can't beat that!). Recipes range from appetizers and dips...to breads and muffins...to meat and seafood...to condiments and salad dressings...and even vegetarian meals. I'd like to give you... Read more →


I wanted to share this easy, tasty recipe for Pumpkin Muffins (good any time of year!), adapted to be GLUTEN FREE from a recipe my older son made in his Family and Consumer Science course in Middle School (the modern-day term for what we called "Home Ec" back in my day!) I love the assortment of gluten-free flour blends on the market now -- so many good ones to choose from. Substituting them cup-for-cup for "regular" flours makes adapting recipes like this so easy. We used King Arthur gluten free multi-purpose blend, since it's easy to find in stores near us, but you can use another favorite brand of your choosing. Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients: Dry: 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (we used King Arthur's GF multi-purpose flour) 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice Wet: 1 cup pumpkin 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup orange juice 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 eggs Topping: 1 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar or confectioners sugar Directions: 1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2.) Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners and spray lightly with non-stick spray (or spray non-stick spray directly in muffin... Read more →


Something unique happened at our son Ryan's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts this past weekend. For those of you who don't know, the Blue and Gold Banquet celebrates the anniversary of scouting, and most packs celebrate with a dinner and entertainment for the scouts and their families. This year, our son and the other scouts in his den were being honored for earning their "Arrow of Light," the highest honor in Cub Scouts. They will be crossing over into a Boy Scout Troop next month, so this was the last gathering as part of the Cub Scout pack. For the past few years, the pack has had a Cake Contest as part of the festivities at the Blue and Gold dinner. There are various categories (most creative, most patriotic, most chocolate, and many more...sometimes they even include best "allergy free" cake). The idea is to have the boys help in the preparation and decoration of the cakes. In past years we've made a penguin-shaped cake (Ryan loves penguins) and a flag cake (a sheet cake decorated with vanilla buttercream icing and with strawberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes). The flag cake won for Best Allergy-Free Cake,... Read more →


By now, you've likely heard me talk about The Inn on Randolph, a newly renovated and dedicated gluten free B&B in the heart of California's Napa Valley wine growing region. Owner Karen Lynch, gluten free herself for 7 years, has transformed this historic 19th century home into a luxurious and modern retreat. It offers the perfect getaway for gluten free travelers wishing to spend some time in this beautiful part of the country. As a guest at the Inn, you enjoy fabulous gluten free breakfasts and late afternoon appetizers...and you'll have your choice of several nearby restaurants that are just as gluten-free friendly. Karen occasionally hosts special events, and now she's offering a two-day Gluten Free/Allergen Free Baking Class with Master Chef Jeffrey Larsen from March 16-17, 2014. You'll check in at 12:30 on the 16th and then enjoy a lecture on gluten free baking where Chef Larsen will discuss flour varieties, baking techniques and tips, and how to set up a gluten free kitchen. Then you'll participate in a hands-on baking class in which you'll prepare breads, pizza, rolls, hamburger buns, and focaccia. After a break to relax, you'll nibble on gluten free appetizers, followed by dinner and dessert... Read more →


I'd heard about the wonderful gluten free offerings at Sweet Christine's dedicated gluten free bakery in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for years. Their reputation for wonderful gluten free baked goods has taken them from a local bakery to one that delivers nationwide and also has a thriving wholesale business. Despite good intentions, I've never had the opportunity to pay them a visit in person. Recently, however, I had some products sent to me by none other than Laura Hahn, Community Manager for Sweet Christine's and former winner of NBC's Next Local TV Chef. I met Laura last summer, while we were both volunteering at Camp Celiac in North Scituate, Rhode Island. I've been a parent counselor there for the past several years since my own Celiac son starting attending the camp. This was Laura's first summer, and she had volunteered her time to prepare the campers' gluten free meals for the week. How fortunate we all were to have Laura's talents in the kitchen! Laura has an interesting story herself...one not unlike many other Celiacs' stories of suffering with symptoms and going from doctor to doctor before being correctly diagnosed with Celiac. But her story actually began while she was deployed... Read more →


Whether you serve them with a warm latte on a cool Fall morning -- or save them as a mid-afternoon treat, these Gluten Free Cinnamon Chip Scones are easy to make and sure to please. You can use your favorite gluten free flour mixture (one that can be substituted cup-for-cup for regular flour in baking). And feel free to swap the cinnamon chips for chocolate chips -- or better yet, use fresh berries like blueberries or raspberries (or both!). This scone recipe is very versatile, so you can try a new variety each time. Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour (I used King Arthur brand) 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted 3/4 cup cinnamon chips (make sure they are gluten free -- I used Hershey's brand) You can also substitute chocolate chips, berries, or nuts -- or any combination of those Instructions: 1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees 2.) Spread parchment paper on a baking sheet (this helps prevent the scones from burning on the bottom) 3.) In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 4.) Melt... Read more →